Venice Bans Gondolas from Grand Canal after Tourist Death

Photo: DailyMail


According to an article from the DailyMail,

“Venice’s famous gondoliers are to be banned from the city’s Grand Canal following the death of a tourist in a waterway collision.

Fifty-year old Joachim Vogel from Germany died earlier this month when the vessel he was travelling on collided with a vaporetto water taxi.

Photo: DailyMail

Photo: DailyMail

Now the lagoon city is drawing up proposals to introduce a floating congestion zone, which would prevent the traditional boats from operating during rush hours.

The gondolier in command of the vessel Mr Vogel and his family were travelling on tested positive for cocaine use prompting new regulation on drug and alcohol use to be rushed through as well.

The customary serenades that honeymooners have enjoyed for centuries will only be able to take place at night, according to the proposals, and vessel captains will no longer be allowed to use mobile phones while they are in command.

Plans already in motion to introduce breathalyser tests for gondoliers to regulate drug and alcohol use will now be rushed through.

Until now Venice has operated as something of a free for all with cruise ships speed boats and water taxis joining small craft jostling for space on the major canals.

But following the accident on the 17th August authorities have set out proposals to bring Venice closer in line to cities based on dry land.

The city’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni said: ‘We have to think of the Grand Canal as a street, a main street like that of all cities, with particularly heavy traffic. We need some discipline.’

To avoid future accidents, he said, ‘these measures will require some sacrifices for citizens’.

Gondolas will only be allowed to operate at certain times of the day after morning rush hour, he added.

Some perilously narrow passageways could be widened by removing structures such as small docks, he said.

Other larger water craft including taxis rubbish collection boats and commercial boats carrying freight will also have to operate in limited hours.

Jaochim Vogel and his family were flung into the water when their gondola collided with a vaporetto water taxi, near the famous Rialto Bridge, one of Venice’s most popular and picturesque sights.

Mr Vogel was crushed to death. His three-year-old daughter was treated in hospital for head injuries, but survived.

Police say the gondolier tested positive for cocaine use. Only last month the gondoliers’ association announced a crackdown on drunkenness after a series of complaints.”


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